Let’s face it, it’s not easy to keep up with the dozens of “must-watch” TV series these days. The number of great shows is seemingly endless.
Incredibly, TV has been one-upping studio films in terms of water-cooler buzz, storytelling, production quality, and even star-power. At the centre of it all is NETFLIX, the company that made binge-watching content a cultural norm.
If you’re looking for something among the endless options, this list is for you. Some have been around, some are brand new, but all are awesome.
A family man played by Jason Bateman also happens to be a money launderer for some serious criminals (to say the least). What could go wrong, right? Ozark has one of the best opening episodes I’ve seen in years. To say that the stakes are set high would be an understatement. Episode one is a thrill ride that will leave you drained.
The dark tone of first sequence is quickly followed by a devastating opening act, which sets the tone for the entire series. The writing is fantastic and the pacing keeps you glued to the screen. Is this the new Breaking Bad? Time will tell.
If you are a fan of The Wire, this one is for you. Each season (up to 3 now) tackles a new crime issue with the same cast. Season one examined the effects of drug addiction, racism, family violence/estrangement, and the systems in place to tackle the issues. Season two takes a look at how crime can function in a world of privilege, while season three examines the idea of human ownership and enslavement and what can happen when people try to help. The show is a tough look at the darker corners of America and is essential viewing.
If you need perfect clarity in a narrative, take fair warning that this show is not for you. Many critics were annoyed by an obtuse story that didn’t explain itself at the end with a tidy finale. Borrowing practices from experimental films, The OA delivers its story in fragments and flashes. We may never know what is truth and what is imagined, but real life also doesn’t provide clear explanations for all that happens — and for that reason The OA is a noble effort. It’s also a high-stakes, visually stunning, sci-fi tinged drama with great performances.
Halt & Catch Fire
Originally dismissed as a Mad Men knock-off, Halt & Catch Fire is one of the most compelling stories ever told on television. Documenting the birth of personal computing and eventually the internet, the show’s main characters are some of the strongest in recent memory – led by Joe, the magnetic business visionary who straddles the boundaries of dark and light better than any character is recent memory. He is the ultimate anti-hero, from which the show revolves around. The show is a unique snapshot of what has become known as the digital revolution.
If you haven’t given Portlandia a watch yet, I suggest you rectify that quick and you have seven seasons worth of material. Conceived by co-stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, the sketch comedy show skewers current cultural trends with many absurdly humorous hipster jabs.